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Resident Beehives, indoor bees? Answered

I was watching an episode of "how it's made", they were covering commercial tomato's.  The plants were grown in a large building and the plants were pollinated by a in house beehive.  The hive was kept separate from the plants, but the bee's had access through some tubing and a hole in the wall.  Everything I've read suggests that having bee's pollinate your indoor plants is a bad idea.  I'm pretty sure most of these comments are coming from hobbyists, but the claim is that the bees get lost indoors and usually die as a result.  Can anyone enlighten me on the subject?


I don't doubt what you saw but AFAIK tomatoes are pollinated by wind or are self pollinated


. You supposed to shake the plants daily if they are indoors. I guess the bees will collect the pollen but I would think they will need a LOT more then a greenhouse full of tomatoes offers (I wonder what they do after the tomato season is ended and what does the honey taste like!

I'm not sure about the shaking of the plants, never heard that one. But tomato plants in a greenhouse will produce year round. They just keep wrapping the vines around.


4 years ago

Bees do eat pollen. Although it is not their main food source it does give them protein which is otherwise lacking in a diet of nectar.
Tomato flowers can be set by the use of a spray, often called blossom set, which is a form of plant hormone. Using this will reduce the number of seeds that the tomatoes have and will help to set the first bloom which often does not produce fruit. Why they would be using bees I have no idea. I suspect that they are growing something else in addition to tomatoes.


4 years ago

Bees navigate by reference to sun position and resulting polarized light ( cloudy day )
Polarized light is found in most rooms with walls.

Ergo bees will not die unless the tomato pollen is to little to adequately feed the hive.


Little bo bo there iceng Bees eat nectar the pollen just hitches a ride.

Rodger that :-\

Still if the nectar is not enough the hive may suffer.

Bees will get lost in houses because they cannot see the Sun (their main navigation marker), and routes through are too complex to communicate in a dance (bees cannot relay instructions like "turn left").

Commercial greenhouses are large, unobstructed by doors and walls, and have clear sight of the Sun, so the bees will be fine. Actually, they'll be better than fine, since they will be sheltered from bad weather.

Research came to the conclusion bees navigate by the sun.

So ether there is a means for them to track the sun or an artificial sun.

In a normal house the only way to track the sun is to remove all the walls and replace them with windows.